There is a job open for someone to start catching footballs in real games for the Steelers since they lost three of their top four wide receivers over the past 14 months, two since March. Antonio Brown is the only fixture of a group that also includes Markus Wheaton, who had six receptions as a rookie, and newcomer Lance Moore, who caught a bunch in New Orleans the past eight seasons. Moore will play in the slot, so it figures that either Wheaton or Martavis Bryant will become the split end, where Mike Wallace and then Emmanuel Sanders played.
His position coach sounds as if he already has been won over.
"We had him here for a visit and we bonded then," said Richard Mann, an Aliquippa native who has seen his share of NFL receivers. "We didn't know we were going to get him. We didn't think we were going to get him, but we got him and I'm delighted."
The Steelers thought Bryant was a second-round talent but with the draft so deep in receivers, he fell to them in the fourth.
There are some observers who have anointed Wheaton as the starter opposite Brown, but with only six catches as a rookie, he didn't make much of an impact. Bryant has the size and skills to start and produce, provided he can hold onto the ball. This is a camp battle to monitor. The winner will be the Steelers' WR2, and the loser will likely slip to WR4, with Moore playing the slot as the team's WR3.